Life Lessons Children Can Learn While Shopping

The most effective parents are those who can turn just about anything into a learning experience for their kids. You can get creative and make some pretty interesting situations into real learning experiences if you just look for opportunities to teach your children important life skills. Shopping trips are usually great opportunities to teach your kids life lessons about trying new things, making choices, and even honesty and handling money.

Next time you take your kids grocery shopping, rather than looking on it as an ordeal, use the experience to teach them about trying new things. Tell each child to go shopping for a new fruit or vegetable they’ve never had before. Then when you get home, you can come up with ways to cook that fruit or vegetable and enjoy it together as a family. If they pick something weird such as a tropical fruit that turns out to be inedible, you can have a good laugh about it together and build some fun memories about the time you tried to cook a Dragon Fruit. Even if they don’t like what they get from the shopping trip, they can still say they tried something new that they picked out themselves.

You can use shopping trips to teach even younger children about making choices and decisions. Shopping is all about choosing. They can get either this shirt or that one, either this cereal or that one. By making the right choice, you save money. Children can learn this when shopping, too. Tell your child she can pick on one tee-shirt or pair of shorts she likes. Tell her the price for each. Then, you’ll have to let her make the decision. If she can’t decide, use the shopping trip to help her learn about decision-making techniques like listing pros and cons or choosing based on price. If your child picks the cheaper item, give him or her the price difference between the two items. They’ll soon learn that choosing the money-saving item benefits them, and will soon be dying to come shopping with you for their own items! 

Another thing you can do when shopping with children is to teach them about handling money. You can also work math lessons in here really well. For instance, you might give each child five dollars at the grocery store. Turn them loose in the breakfast foods aisle and let them choose what they can get for five dollars, on the condition that you won’t be buying any more breakfast cereal for a week. This teaches children that money only goes so far when you’re shopping. Maybe next time you’re all shopping together, they’ll stop begging for items you can’t afford!

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